Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that legislation he sponsors to raise penalties for drivers who intentionally avoid paying tolls on toll roads has been passed by the New York State Senate.
Under current law, those who try to evade paying for other public transportation services, such as hopping a subway turnstile or jumping out of a taxi cab without paying, can be charged with theft of services, a class A misdemeanor. However, evading tolls on toll roads is not included under the law.
The legislation (S4610) would give law enforcement the ability to charge toll dodgers with a class A misdemeanor under the state’s theft of services law.
“Toll dodgers need to pay the price for not paying their fair share. They are stealing millions of dollars worth of free rides on our toll roads which law-abiding drivers ultimately end up paying for through higher costs. Ensuring that toll dodging is included under the theft of services law will give law enforcement stronger tools to prosecute toll cheats and force them to pay what they owe,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.
Toll dodging costs millions of dollars in lost revenue; over $1.3 million in tolls are owed just by the most blatant toll dodgers listed on the Port Authority’s “Wall of Shame.” Drivers have also been using technology which manipulates, hides, or disguises their license plates so that they can drive through the E-Z Pass lane without being charged for the toll.
Senator Fuschillo’s legislation would expand the current theft of services law to include evading tolls on a toll road, ensuring that toll dodgers would be subject to the same class A misdemeanor charges as everyone else who tries to avoid paying for their public transportation. This would better enable law enforcement to prosecute toll evaders and ensure that they pay their fair share.